Michelle was on the phone. She had lost her mom to cancer, 9 months previous.
And now Michelle was calling me to tell me that now her father had passed in his sleep of a diabetic coma.
She was in her early twenties and now she and her older sister were left alone… far too young to have to deal with what life had dealt them.
But she was not alone… for she was now a part of a large, very large group of people that through life circumstance had or were in a new season of questioning.
Where is God in all of this?
During several of our conversations she would declare that she was losing her faith.
She was losing her faith… her faith in the kind of God she used to believe in.
She was losing her faith in that “vending machine God”… you know the transactional faith where we try desperately to play our role… we put in our bit, and then God will do God’s bit.
But I was heartened by a future I believed was waiting for her. A future of more, not less, faithfulness…
So let’s talk about faithfulness.
Faithfulness is not all about unicorns and rainbows.
Faithfulness is not always easy or simple.
Faithfulness is not about burying you head in the sand and ignoring the reality of life.
Faithfulness is not just making lemonade out of the lemons we experience.
Faithfulness is a living, breathing, journey filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, joy and pain. Even excruciating pain…
For all of our efforts we are still left with the confession that we don’t know all there is to know about our reality.
There is a lot of ambiguity that we have to deal with…
Faithfulness is the ability to stay in relationship with the creator of the universe in the midst of ambiguity.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do we come pre-wrapped in bodies that are so frail and prone to disease and simple accidents that can be so devastating?
Faithfulness is being able to seek hope and beauty in the midst of all this ambiguity.
This also helps us know what is not unfaithful…
Being upset at God is not unfaithful…
Being frustrated with God or questioning God’s motives or plans or intentions is not unfaithful.
But that is not an unfaithful stance before God.
It’s real and it’s honest.
And God encourages real honest relationships and real relationships have all of that stuff in them.